- M. N. Sokolov
(b Rostov-on-Don, May 29, 1910; d Moscow, March 15, 1972).
Russian painter. He studied at the Leningrad Academy of Arts (1932–8) under Isaak Brodsky, and his style developed under the influence of Brodsky and of 17th-century Baroque painting with its illusory effects. He was an expert on old painting techniques, and he became one of the best-known representatives of the retrospective trend in Socialist Realism, combining modern subjects with detailed rendering of the texture of objects in the spirit of the Old Masters.
Many of Laktionov’s works have a propagandist veneer, for example Into the New Flat (1952; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), in which the central detail is a portrait of Stalin as the creator of happy changes in the life of the family receiving the new flat. Other works are extremely pompous, even kitschy, with an overworked, superficial attractiveness, as in Secure Old Age (1958–60; Kiev, Mus. Rus. & Sov. A. & Prod. Complex), a group portrait of veterans of Soviet theatre. In his most successful works, however, he achieved an impressive lyricism, as in ...